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Essays on collaborative processes among SMEs for competitiveness development
Luleå University of Technology, Department of Business Administration, Technology and Social Sciences, Innovation and Design.
2008 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

This thesis examine some important fundaments of collaborative processes, the drivers for inter-organizational collaboration and the logic behind how such processes can be important for competitiveness development. The thesis particularly emphasizes collaboration among small and medium sized firms (SMEs), collaboration as a process (that takes place among various actors, such as SMEs, large companies, universities and/or public actors) and takes a specific view from a resource-based perspective. By looking closer into the process of working together in the pursuit of common objectives, and primarily among SMEs, such view of collaboration emphasizes the dynamic relationship that exists between the actors involved and elements of this process that can be important for understanding competitiveness. Four papers are appended in this thesis where each individual paper has its own research purpose. These four papers are focusing on: (i) How SMEs develop their capabilities in strategic alliances. (ii) The importance of motive congruence in strategic networks. (iii) How innovation systems in which SMEs participate evolve over time, and how the concepts of regional innovation system and Triple Helix are put into practice. (iv) How innovative processes, in which SMEs participate, are organized and how the actors are ascribed to different roles. A new framework on collaboration based on a literature review, an accomplished multiple case-study and on earlier models is proposed. The framework specifically denotes the importance of understanding actors and their motives as well as how these actors as a base for future collaborative actions evaluate and learn from their previous experiences. The suggested framework may also be understood as a way to capture dynamic capabilities in inter-organizational collaboration. This thesis shows that personal contacts are in the heart of collaboration and a challenge for an actor especially relevant for an SME is to keep track of who knows what and whom. Moreover, this thesis points towards that different types of inter-organizational collaborations may be expected to exploit different kinds of synergies. The empirical examples shows that the evolution of an innovation system is very long process, since fruitful collaboration between actors does not emerge automatically when it evolves through long-term social exchange and interaction processes which are culturally situated and part of ongoing social activities negotiated and reproduced through everyday practices.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Luleå: Luleå tekniska universitet, 2008. , 93 p.
Doctoral thesis / Luleå University of Technology 1 jan 1997 → …, ISSN 1402-1544 ; 2008:23
Research subject
Entrepreneurship and Innovation
URN: urn:nbn:se:ltu:diva-17679Local ID: 4a106380-1c12-11dd-8384-000ea68e967bOAI: diva2:990684
Godkänd; 2008; 20080507 (ysko)Available from: 2016-09-29 Created: 2016-09-29Bibliographically approved

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